An Apocalyptic March

The Wanderer

Parade Ground
Military signals, fanfares, and marches in Mahler’s music express a full gamut of emotion, from triumph to tragedy.
“The military band was the passion of my childhood.”
  • The fourth and fifth movements of Mahler’s Second Symphony resolve the dramatic narrative of the first movement, the Todtenfeier (Funeral Rites). They deal with the journey of the soul through the Last Judgment, redemption, and resurrection. The journey begins with a violent march.

  • Listen to the traditional melody used for the Dies Irae, the medieval Latin poem that describes the Day of Judgment.

  • Now listen to Mahler’s dramatization of it in his finale.